London Marathon - Redbridge’s record-breaking 101-year-old runner defies expectations

11:17 23 April 2012

(l-r) Billi Mucklow, Redbridge

(l-r) Billi Mucklow, Redbridge's champion 101-year-old runner Fauja Singh and Cara Kilbey

Archant

Redbridge’s very own record-breaking 101-year-old runner smashed his expected time for yesterday’s London Marathon and raised £1,000 for charity at the same time.

Fauja Singh, of Goodmayes, is believed to be the only centenarian to ever run a marathon and he inspired generations of runners by clocking a time of seven hours 49 minutes.

He had been set a target of eight hours 25 minutes, his time at last year’s Toronto Marathon, by bookies William Hill who pledged to donate £1,000 to Prostate Cancer Charity and Breast Cancer Care should he beat it.

His run, his ninth marathon, is likely to be his swansong over the distance on a day in which he attracted interest from fans lining the route, stars of the TV show The Only Way Is Essex and camera crews.

His trainer, Harmander Singh, 52, of Wellesley Road, Ilford, himself running in his 28th consecutive London Marathon, said Fauja, who speaks Punjabi, enjoyed the start and finish of his 26-mile challenge.

Harmander said: “He got a lot of support during the race, from old and young and from all walks of life.

“It kept him going.

“He was on target for the time I set him through most of the race.”

Fauja, who was given a celebrity place in the race by organisers, met Cara Kilbey and Billi Mucklow from TOWIE, who were also running.

Harmander said: “When we told them we were from Essex they seemed to like that.”

Running in a team of four and with his trainer backing him every step of the way, Fauja was joined by his son Sukhjinder Singh, who ran the last 10 miles as a pedestrian with his dad.

The tireless competitor also drew attention from camera crews who may have inadvertently stopped him posting an even faster time.

Harmander said: “He was afraid of running into the cameras.”

Once he was finished, and his post-race interview duties were completed, he had a celebratory meal with friends and family.

And he is likely to keep his post-race pledge to retire from the distance.

His trainer said: “He’s got nothing to prove, he’s achieved everything he can.

“He can play a significant role in inspiring people in the fight against obesity and good living by running shorter distances.”

Fauja is already booked in to run 10km at the Mauritius Marathon in July after running with its race director Wolfgang Slawisch yesterday.

Harmander, meanwhile, is pledging his services to the Royal Family after learning Prince William and Kate Middleton will run next year’s race.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Friday, March 27, 2015
The app has rapidly become both widespread and controversial [Photo by Sergi Alexander/Getty Images for SOBEWFF]

The fate of the popular car-booking app hangs in the balance as TfL asks the High Court to decide if it is operating illegally in the capital.

Friday, March 27, 2015
The news means at least nine girls travelled to, or wanted to travel to, Syria after attending the coeducational academy [Image from Google StreetView]

The High Court has banned five teenage girls from travelling abroad after they expressed an interest in going to Syria – just weeks after three of their schoolmates left to join the Islamic State.

Friday, March 27, 2015
Mr Packman went missing from the Dennis Scott Unit of Edgware Community Hospital in 2012 [Photograph from Metropolitan Police]

A young man who was receiving treatment at a mental health unit in Enfield has absconded, and police have warned the public not to approach Joshua Packman if they see him.

Friday, March 27, 2015
The roof of the double deck bus was torn off by the impact of the collision (Pic: Twitter/David Marsh)

Eleven children were injured when the roof of the double decker bus they were travelling in was ripped off after crashing into a bridge, ambulance services have confirmed.

Friday, March 27, 2015
McDonagh has been jailed for four years [Photograph from Metropolitan Police]

A conman has been jailed for locking a 90-year-old man in his basement in order to burgle his Fulham home.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...